Valentine’s Day 2023

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! I hope your day yesterday was filled with love and that you can feel at least a little bit of the love and appreciation I have for you through the computer (or phone) screen. Thank you for being here!

I have another day-in-the-life blog post coming your way this morning and it conveniently aligned with recapping Valentine’s Day. It was kind of a regular Tuesday but kind of not because of the extra focus on l-o-v-e but here’s a peek into how the day went down for our family!


A week or two before Christmas, I read something that said the way we celebrate the holidays often emulates the simple traditions and special holiday moments we remember from our own childhood. I sent the quote to my mom (and clearly forgot what the quote actually said) with a message along the lines of how lucky I felt to have so many good memories surrounding holidays — even the “Hallmark holidays” like Valentine’s Day — because of the love, energy and effort she poured into them. (No shade to my dad — you guys know I think he’s the absolute best!! But he’ll also be the first one to admit my mom was the one who sprinkled holiday joy all over our household.)

Now that I’m a mom to three kids, I see how celebrating these little holidays and making them special for my kids also brings extra joy into the day for me. Don’t get me wrong, there have absolutely been some years when life was overwhelming and scrambling to do something… anything… to acknowledge a holiday like Valentine’s Day felt like too much but when life is more normal, celebrating a day like Valentine’s Day feels fun and joyful, largely because of the three little guys we have in our home to shower with a little extra love.

After the boys went to bed on Monday night, I took a little time to decorate our dining table with Valentine’s Day flare.

(Yes, our backyard is currently a red clay mud pit. Fingers crossed we have grass by spring!)

The majority of the Valentine’s Day surprises on that table are things I repurpose year after year but bringing them out on February 14 always seems to add to the excitement and energy of the day for the boys!

I started my Valentine’s Day with a workout that looked like a Burn Boot Camp metabolic conditioning workout I streamed in our garage beside Ryan as he rode his indoor bike a million miles.

Ryan just kicked off training for his third Half Ironman! He’ll be doing the race in Roanoke, Virginia in early June with my best friend Merri’s husband and it will be so fun to cheer for our husbands along with our our boys! (I know I blogged about Merri’s baby shower last year but they didn’t know the sex of their baby at the time. She gave birth to and adorable baby boy in the spring of last year!)

After my workout, I quickly showered and packed Chase’s lunch — no need for lunches for Rhett and Ryder because they were having Valentine’s Day pizza parties at their school. Oooh the perks of preschool!

(Slip skirt: Target — only $25 and I ordered it in black, too, because I love it so much! / Sweater: Old Navy but last year — this red sweater by GAP looks almost identical / Lug boots: Amazon

All the boys were awake by 6:45 a.m. and were extra amped up when they came downstairs to find some pink and red surprises!

(There’s somethin’ about that Ryder smile, I’m tellin’ ya.)

After breakfast and flipping through the melty beads pattern book we got for the boys, we said goodbye to Ryan who was working from home for the day and then loaded into my car (Pepper, too!) for Chase’s drop-off. We then headed back home for a hot second before it was time for Rhett and Ryder’s preschool drop-off.

Rhett was so excited to give his teacher her Valentine’s Day surprise when he saw her! He screamed across the parking lot, “Miss Debbie! I have a present! You open it!” and then he continued to talk about the present the entire walk from the car to Miss Debbie when he sprinted right up to her and practically shoved his little surprise for her in her face. Two-year-olds are seriously sweet and spicy but daaang they are adorable.

Once the boys were all settled in school, I headed to my favorite local coffee shop for some work time.

I ordered my usual half-caf whole milk latte and cranked out a few hours of blog work before it was time to make my way back to the boys’ preschool for a Valentine’s Day pizza party. Ryan and I tag-teamed the boys’ parties since neither of us could be in two places at once and it was adorable to watch the boys exchange valentines and spread a little love to their classmates and teachers yesterday.

Rhett presented the heart candle votive me made for me with an electric candle inside while singing, “Happy Birthday to you!” He also kept saying “It’s jammie day!” all day because last week he had pajama day at school. Valentine’s Day is very confusing when you’re two years old.

Afternoon + Evening

Eventually we headed back home and arrived to find a house filled with people yet again. We made the decision to move into our home before we otherwise would have because our lease was up on our rental house but that means our house is still a revolving door of people coming by to finish various jobs and tie up loose ends. (This is also why I haven’t shared many house updates just yet!) Pepper is all about a million visitors and has yet to meet a stranger she didn’t immediately love.

Yes, yes, that would be Pepper in the lap of the son of our electrician. Thankfully he seemed to really love her and sent lots of pics of Pepper to his girlfriend who is a dog groomer. She said she thinks Pepper might be mixed with a fox terrier. I always love hearing what mix of breeds people think Pepper might be and I’m sure one day we’ll do one of those doggie DNA tests to find out for sure. (If you’ve done this and have one you recommend, please let me know!)

After Ryder and Rhett went through the valentines they received from their classmates and teachers, I did my best to get a very excited Rhett down for his nap which was easier said than done after bringing home a kid all hopped up on Valentine’s Day treats.

(I swear I can hear Rhett’s belly laugh just looking at that pic!)

Eventually he fell asleep and I did a little dinner prep while Ryder got to work on the boys’ new Lego kit, promising to save one of the vehicles for Chase.

Eventually it was time to pick Chase up from school and I was not-so-secretly excited to check out the valentines he received from his classmates since the whole class was tasked with creating acrostic poems for each other.

This first grade tradition at his school definitely requires some time and effort (thankfully we had a month to work on the valentines) but receiving the valentines from Chase’s friends yesterday absolutely lit him up inside. A big theme in the acrostic poems about Chase centered around animals and soccer so clearly his classmates know him well!

Eventually Ryan was done with work and it was dinner time! On the menu for Valentine’s Day was Everything Bagel Seared Tuna, edamame, ginger sesame broccoli and a freshly baked (okay, a reheated-in the oven) baguette with butter.

The boys have been crazy into edamame lately (both for snacks and meals) so the edamame and bread and butter stole the show for them. Easy to please!

The rest of our Valentine’s Day looked like a typical weeknight and wrapped up with basketball in the driveway, bath time and bed time routines before Ryan and I hung out for a bit, read our books and called it a night. It was a simple but memorable love-filled day!

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